Southern Utah News Articles
Kane County Sheriff's Office considers using jail inmates for community projects
Sheriff Lamont Smith and Chief Deputy Tracy Glover presented a projected program for using jail inmates to help with community projects at the request of the Resource Development Committee (RDC) at its October 21 meeting. Deputy Glover explained the work crews would be comprised of six or seven inmates, and would be required to have a law enforcement supervisor present at all times. The crew would be assigned to help with community projects such as setting up for the county fair, Western Legends Round-up, highway cleanup and public work projects. Some other counties in Utah already have this type of program in place. The Sheriff’s Office would establish an hourly rate that would be passed along to the requesting agency to recover the costs of the program. Glover stated that based on similar programs, the overall cost might be around $50 per hour.
Glover reported the county has contracted with Utah State Department of Corrections to house 166 inmates. This program could benefit a qualifying group of inmates, as well as our communities. “The inmates love to get out and work hard.”
RDC member Marty Ott commented this type of program is entirely appropriate.
Congressional representatives from the offices of Lee, Hatch and Stewart, as well as various other federal and county agencies, were present at this meeting to explain and discuss their projects and goals. James Matson represented the Kane County Commission.
The rangers at The Wave have new two-way radios and a temporary repeater station has been put in place to help with safety issues. Seeding projects are also underway.
A representative from the National Forest Service Department explained they have completed the prescribed/controlled burn of approximately 8,000 acres of mostly Ponderosa pine in the Kaibab Forest.
Agenda item scheduled for discussion: Upper Kanab Creek Watershed Improvement. Shaunna Goldberry explained the Kane County Conservation District is a political subdivision of the State of Utah and serves as the grassroots link between private landowners and government agencies. Working directly with landowners to recommend practices to help them: improve pasture and rangeland, increase irrigation efficiency, reclaim critical wildlife habitat, stabilize stream channels, reduce soil erosion, and restore clean water. “Coordination is the key to the project,” said Goldberry.
The purpose of the six members of the K.C. Conservation District is to serve the communities of Kane County by providing local leadership. Members are: Bruce Bunting, Kanab, Frank Alleman, Kanab, Danny Little, Kanab, Eric Esplin, Mt. Carmel and Mark Spencer, Glendale. Tryce Palmer of Panguith is the Zone Five Coordinator.
GSENM Manager Cindy Staszak gave an update on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. There has been an increase of 15 to 20 percent in visitors. Staszak also said there have been damages to the signs on the Monument. They are in the process of creating different signing with the Monument logo.
There was a discussion by Todd Brindle and Brian Carey on the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Lake Powell’s, water is low and the mussel free search is still in progress on boats entering the lake. The mussels can cause damage to boat motors and other structure machinery such as water treatment and fire systems. They are working closely with the states of Utah and Arizona to try and manage this ongoing problem.